HEATING UP: CFA firefighters take a short break and watch a spot fire near Benloch, Victoria, this week.
HEATING UP: CFA firefighters take a short break and watch a spot fire near Benloch, Victoria, this week. TRACEY Nearmyaap

El Nino likely to drive the bushfire risk

THE potential for a bad El Nino summer this year with higher risks of bushfires is growing, a climate expert has said.

But Kevin Walsh from the University of Melbourne's School of Earth Sciences warned predictions were not 100% accurate and could vary.

He said the Bureau of Meteorology has recently increased its predictions of a bad El Nino summer.

Professor Walsh said Queensland and New South Wales were both looking at below-average rainfalls and higher-than average temperatures from now to December.

"The accuracy is not 100%, but certainly based on what we've got so far, there's a potential bad outcome," he said.

"If we get that circumstance (a strong El Nino) ... there's increased risks for bushfires."

Prof Walsh said the current El Nino could not be linked directly to climate change, but he expected extreme weather patterns to become "more pronounced".



Third man arrested after massive drug bust near Coffs

Premium Content Third man arrested after massive drug bust near Coffs

He's the third member of an alleged drug syndicate.

VOTE: The Coffs Coast’s cutest dog for 2020

Premium Content VOTE: The Coffs Coast’s cutest dog for 2020

The Advocate received over 80 adorable nominations – vote now!

ONE WAY TICKET: Tigers playing for spot in AFLNC decider

Premium Content ONE WAY TICKET: Tigers playing for spot in AFLNC decider

Grafton travel to Sawtell Toormina for a chance at a spot in the big dance